Justin Bistrovich's Luge Training Fund

The first time I Luged
I was 12, excited and anxious.
It was cold and practically a whiteout.
Coaches sitting on the open start gate
Looking bored and tired.
Finish is clear to my start,
Start five.
Larry sighs, gets up, and pushes,
My sled with all his might.
Bad push.
A Really bad push.
Up into the first curve,
I hoped to be inside.
For a simple reason,
It was easier.
I was apparently the only one,
Who knew the simple curve.
Everyone steered into the curve.
So apparently they were not thinking
About what would happen,
Or how to do it the best way possible.
I was still going slowly into curve 13,
When I realized that I liked it.
so far simple it was simple
And not much effort was involved.
I was wrong.
I didn't steer,
At all.
I felt my eyes water.
The cold winter air burned.
I also realized I had dropped.
Out of the darkness into
Natural light I saw a long straight.
Easy I thought.
I was dead wrong.
It was an optical illusion
And a very tricky one to notice.
I feel the slope,
About 1/3 the way through.
It was way too late to steer.
The impact took my breath away.
I regained focus on the task.
I made sure I didn't ping-pong
I tried to relax.
Coach made it sound easy but it was hard.
Try relaxing on a sled at 40 mph!
I put the Chicane behind me.
The heart is next.
It is all to fast to worry.
About steering and fear I mean.
Whiteface and curve 17 are behind now.
I feel one new problem, G-force.
Curve 19 throws my head into the ice.
I quickly feel my speed reduce.
I sit up for two reasons.
To escape the G-force and the run is over.
A giant teenager grabs the sled.
He hoists it into the U-Haul truck.
The run makes me dizzy remembering it.
Now I feel something new,
A desire to do it all again.
A desire to make the Olympics
And I plan to get there.
I was not going to be a baseball player,
I was going to be a Luger.
I also knew that I had some improving to do.
A retired Luger approached,
He did the one thing I didn't expect,
He gave me advice.
"Stay in the curve"
Words to live by.
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Joseph Bistrovich 
Syracuse, NY
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